NJ schools get remote option on election day in response to Texas shooting
New Jersey schools acting as polling places for this Tuesday's primary election will have the option to have a remote learning day, state officials confirmed.
Several districts have informed their communities that students and teachers will not be in the building on election day. These precautions are being taken as a direct result of the shooting in Uvalde, Texas that left 19 students and two teachers dead.
Old Bridge Superintendent David Cittadino said on Twitter that all schools in the district will be closed.
"We have an obligation to the safety of our school community first," Cittadino said. "If we have learned one thing out of the #Uvalde tragedy, any unlocked/open door while students are present in school is unacceptable."
State Department of Education spokesperson Mike Yaple told New Jersey 101.5 that the option for remote or virtual instruction is there for certain districts operating as polling sites.
"If the statutory requirements are met, the virtual or remote instructional day will count toward the 180-day requirement for those school facilities that are being used as polling locations," Yaple said.
Twelve schools in Trenton will be closed Tuesday as well. Superintendent James Earle said the district was encouraged to close certain schools and utilize remote learning "due to the number of individuals entering our facilities."
Another nearby district in Mercer County will also be closing several schools on Tuesday for virtual instruction. Hamilton Superintendent Scott Rocco confirmed the district will be doing the same for the general election in November.
Nutley and Piscataway are also among the school districts taking part in remote instruction. Piscataway Superintendent Frank Rinelli apologized for the late notice, saying schools were just recently informed of the option.
Rick Rickman is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at email@example.com
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